Unifor, the union representing autoworkers in Canada, has launched an advertising campaign attacking General Motors’ decision to shutter plants and idle workers.
Jerry Dias, Unifor president, the successor to the old CAW, hase advertising campaign objective is to force GM to reconsider the decision to idle an assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, on an industrial site with a history of vehicle building stretching back more than 100 years.
The Unifor ads are scheduled to appear in Canada and the U.S. and appeared even as GM was airing an expensive advertising campaign during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays that featured GM “employees,” touting Chevrolets.
The Unifor ads that have appeared carried a pointed message. One of the ads attacking GM’s plants, which took up a full-page in a print edition of the Detroit News during noted, “When GM needed it most American and Canadians were there with a $61 billion bailout. When GM puts cars and trucks up for sale American and Canadian consumers step up and buy 3.3 million each year.
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“Now that GM is profitable they want to closes plants in the U.S. and Canada while expending in Mexico. Hey GM, you want to sell here? Build here,” the Unifor advertisement said, echoing a long-standing complaint from unions in both Canada and the United States.
In 2017, Unifor staged a 30-day strike at a key GM assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, after the automaker shifted some crossover production to Mexico.
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Unifor hasn’t put a price tag on its advertising campaign but it also has linked up with the United Auto Workers in the United States to mount a letter-writing campaign aimed at pressuring GM on the plant-related decisions.
GM’s decisions to shut plants in the Michigan, Ohio and Maryland also brought angry tweets from President Donald Trump and complaints from both Democratic and Republican Congressmen.
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GM is feeling the heat, promising to reply next week to Unifor proposals to save the threatened Oshawa plant. In addition, GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra has said she would offer more information to investors about GM’s future plans during a presentation that is also scheduled for next week.